From Our Own Correspondent



Insight, wit and analysis as BBC correspondents, journalists and writers take a closer look at the stories behind the headlines. Presented by Kate Adie and Pascale Harter.


  • Iran’s internal rivalries

    Iran’s internal rivalries

    01/05/2021 Duração: 28min

    A leaked recording has startled observers of Iran’s government and military. Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif was caught out when an interview meant for the archive of a state-sponsored think-tank found its way to the media. Jeremy Bowen explains what it revealed about how the country really works. President Biden has issued an official statement that the mass killings of Armenians by Ottoman Turks from 1915 onwards were a “genocide” - a term that's always enraged Turkish nationalists. Biden’s statement was welcomed in Armenia and by the Armenian diaspora, but roundly rejected by Turkey’s President Erdogan. Orla Guerin reports on the impact of the White House’s verdict on history. It has been three weeks since the volcano in St Vincent, La Soufriere, erupted. Ash rained down on the northern part of the island; more than a tenth of its people had to to shelter elsewhere and most crops have been ruined. Will Grant reached the red zone and saw how much needs to be rebuilt. Chile has had one of the w

  • The US and China edge closer on climate

    The US and China edge closer on climate

    24/04/2021 Duração: 28min

    Relations between the US and China are going through a rough patch. On trade, diplomacy and military matters the superpowers are at odds; they still have entirely different visions of the world and its future. Yet the world’s two biggest carbon emitters have pledged to cooperate more closely on cutting their emissions. Celia Hatton explores how the promises were hammered out and what it means for the rest of the planet.; Early in 2021 many hoped India might escape the worst of the pandemic, with a vaccine roll-out under way and infection rates dropping. But Covid cases and deaths have soared. The surge in patient numbers, and severe shortages of oxygen, have overwhelmed the health system in some places. In Delhi, Rajini Vaidyanathan sensed a marked shift in mood.; Brazil is also hard hit. Its President Jair Bolsonaro has scoffed at the virus, and clashed repeatedly with regional governors who wanted to impose stricter lockdowns and other measures. In the northeastern town of Lencois, Richard Lapper gauges the

  • A Taliban show of force in Afghanistan

    A Taliban show of force in Afghanistan

    17/04/2021 Duração: 29min

    The White House has announced a deadline for US troop withdrawals from Afghanistan and the government in Kabul looks isolated. The Taliban are in control of large parts of the country, running a parallel administration. Secunder Kermani visited a Taliban-controlled zone in Balkh province to hear how Talib commanders and fighters have reacted to the American plan. Russia seems to be concentrating military resources along its border with Ukraine, but why? And how can or should Ukraine prepare to respond? Jonah Fisher has been to the trenches and artillery-damaged villages of eastern Ukraine and sensed a nervy game of 'wait and see'. The city of Minneapolis has been at the centre of continuing debate over race, crime and policing in the United States. Just as the world's media moved in to cover the trial of Derek Chauvin over the death of George Floyd in 2020, news came on Sunday of the death of Daunte Wright, aged 20, shot and killed by a police officer. Larry Madowo reflects on how much anger and sadness the

  • Jordan’s palace intrigues

    Jordan’s palace intrigues

    10/04/2021 Duração: 29min

    Jordan is often portrayed as a stable, moderate country whose royal family have guided it wisely through turbulent times in a dangerous neighbourhood. But that royal family has rifts of its own and they burst into full view in recent weeks, as a public feud broke out between King Abdullah and his half-brother, the former Crown Prince Hamza. The BBC’s Middle East editor, Jeremy Bowen, has his own memories of the country’s intimate power struggles – past and present. In Rwanda, a man once seen around the world as a hero is now standing trial accused of terrorism. Paul Rusesabagina, a former hotel manager, sheltered hundreds of people from the killers during the 1994 genocide. But he became a critic in exile of the government of Rwanda's President, Paul Kagame - and apparently a target for Rwandan intelligence. Michaela Wrong has spent years investigating the complex background to the story. As the military crackdown on strikers and demonstrators goes on in Myanmar, journalists are also being targeted as they

  • Merkel’s Balancing Act

    Merkel’s Balancing Act

    03/04/2021 Duração: 28min

    The German Chancellor is widely respected as good at crisis management, but public confidence in her government's pandemic policies is ebbing away. How will her party, the CDU, campaign during this autumn's general election - is it possible the next Chancellor could be a Green? Jenny Hill reports from Berlin on power struggles and shifting opinions. While the Christian Democrats confront their future, the German state is still carrying on talks with the government of Namibia about its colonial past. Land rights, official apologies and reparations have all been discussed . So has the treatment of the Herero and Nama peoples in the early 1900s, which some historians now consider "the first genocide of the 20th century". Tim Whewell met black and white Namibians still viewing their heritage though very different lenses. In Armenia the public mood is mutinous, in the aftermath of the most recent round of conflict over Nagorno Karabakh. A ceasefire agreement is holding, but there's grief and anger on the streets

  • The EU and The Vaccine

    The EU and The Vaccine

    27/03/2021 Duração: 28min

    The EU’s vaccination programme has had several setbacks with repeated delays and safety concerns. The commission has blamed pharmaceutical companies for failing to deliver promised jabs, and has tightened export controls. Kevin Connolly reflects on the twists and turns of the vaccine saga – and how history may offer some insight into what happens next. Israel has held its fourth election in two years - yielding yet another inconclusive result. Neither Benjamin Netanyahu nor his challengers secured a governing majority. Some analysts say the stalemate is further alienating Israelis from the political system. Joel Greenberg says the outcome could turn on an unlikely kingmaker. The recent shooting of six Asian Americans in Georgia has highlighted entrenched prejudice in the US. In the last year there has been a spike in reports of attacks and other abuse directed against people of Asian descent. Annie Phrommayon is in San Francisco and reflects on how racist attitudes have become normalised. Germany has gone

  • Poland’s LGBT Crackdown

    Poland’s LGBT Crackdown

    25/03/2021 Duração: 28min

    Rules have been tightening for same sex couples in Poland in recent years. Civil unions are not legally recognized and same sex couples are barred from adopting children, but a loophole currently allows applicants to adopt as single parents. Now the government wants to close that loophole. Adam Easton has spoken to the people affected, some of whom are now considering leaving. Lebanon's second city, Tripoli, gained notoriety for its flamboyant anti-government protests in 2019 over the severe economic decline seen across the country. Despite the extreme poverty, and the impact of the pandemic, some of the city's residents are keen to be part of an economic revival, finds Lemma Shehadi. In Taiwan, we hear the stories of couples who were married under the traditional simpua system. The practice, where a family would adopt a pre-adolescent girl as a future bride for their son, eventually phased out in the sixties and seventies, largely due to the economic boom. Sally Howard spoke to some of the men and women w

  • Hong Kong’s Exodus

    Hong Kong’s Exodus

    20/03/2021 Duração: 28min

    Hong Kong is seeing a wave of departures amid concerns about the erosion of democratic freedoms. China's national security law, imposed in July last year, has been used to clamp down on dissent prompting many to considering leaving. The UK's visa scheme will allow many Hong Kong residents to start a new life in Britain. Danny Vincent spoke to some of the people preparing to leave the territory. One year ago, New York City was the one of the epicentres of the coronavirus outbreak. Now a massive vaccination effort is underway. Restaurants are allowed to open at half capacity and, helped by the relief package, the city is gradually springing back to life. But some people are wary of the vaccine, says Laura Trevelyan. In Australia allegations of sexual assault in the corridors of power in Canberra are dominating headlines. Tens of thousands of people have protested in the major cities. The Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, has so far refused to hold an independent inquiry, but the allegations have triggered a

  • Rebuilding Raqqa

    Rebuilding Raqqa

    18/03/2021 Duração: 28min

    More than 380 000 people have been killed and over half the population has been uprooted from their homes in Syria's ten-year civil conflict. Residents of the city of Raqqa experienced terror and brutality under the control of so-called Islamic State. Meanwhile airstrikes and shelling destroyed civilian infrastructure and homes. Now the city is trying to rebuild. Leila Molana-Allen met with one of the original protesters , along with those who are working to restore the city. The Venezuelan diaspora stretches from Texas to Brussels to Nairobi, and those within it are now trying to help people back home battling the pandemic and a collapsing economy. Vladimir Hernandez lives in Nairobi, and describes how Venezuelan friends and relatives are issuing pleas for help via messaging apps. The murder of Swedish journalist Kim Wall in 2017 on board a Danish submarine shocked the world. It was recently in the spotlight again when a television dramatization of the case, The Investigation, was aired on the BBC and

  • The Pope and the Ayatollah

    The Pope and the Ayatollah

    13/03/2021 Duração: 28min

    Pope Francis' recent visit to Iraq was the first by a pontiff to the country. It was aimed at boosting the moral of the persecuted Christian minority and promoting inter-religious dialogue. Mark Lowen travelled with the papal delegation and witnessed the moment the Pope met the most powerful Shia cleric in Iraq - the Grand Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani. In Mozambique the government is struggling to deal with armed groups whose motives are often unclear. So as reports started coming in, in recent years, of an Islamist insurgency in the far north –– it wasn’t easy to know who the players were. Since 2017 there have been repeated accounts of attacks – and military reprisals – in Cabo Delgado province. Andrew Harding visited the region. Singapore has taken pride in its track and trace technology throughout the pandemic. Now, it is in the midst of a mass vaccination drive and has chosen to prioritise workers in the aviation and maritime industries. Karishma Vaswani went to Singapore’s main airport which has dedicated

  • Remembering Fukushima

    Remembering Fukushima

    11/03/2021 Duração: 28min

    Ten years ago a magnitude 9 earthquake struck off the north east coast of Honshu, triggering a devastating tsunami which left 20,000 dead and more than half a million without homes. It also triggered a meltdown at the nuclear plant in Fukushima. There were fears the contamination would spread just as it did with Chernobyl. Rupert Wingfield Hayes revisited the nuclear zone. The mass kidnappings of children in Nigeria have made repeated headlines recently. In the past three months alone there have been four such abductions. This dramatic escalation has led many to conclude that kidnapping children has become a business in Nigeria. Mayeni Jones looks at whether the media is part of the problem. A fresh wave of sex scandals in France is forcing the country to confront widespread sexual abuse and, in particular, incest. There is now a push to reform laws surrounding rape and child abuse and, for the first time in France, to set a legal age of consent. Joanna Robertson reflects on the culture that has tolerated a l

  • Brazil’s Long Battle Against Covid

    Brazil’s Long Battle Against Covid

    06/03/2021 Duração: 28min

    Brazil is facing the deadliest point of the pandemic so far – this week posting record death tolls as scientists warn the variant found in the country appears to be more contagious. For Katy Watson, who has been reporting on Brazil's outbreak throughout, it’s a story that’s become personal too. Meanwhile in Europe, some countries are cautiously re-opening. We're Germany, where hairdressers have opened again – and garden centres and bookshops will follow suit from next week, but plans for a wider lifting of restrictions will hinge on keeping rates low. With just six per cent of the country inoculated, scientists are warning a new wave is already underway. Jenny Hill visited a hospital in Dortmund. The small community of Africville in Canada was established by Black settlers more than two centuries ago, many of whom had fled a life of slavery in the US. The vibrant community lived there for generations, until their forcible relocation in the 1960s when authorities demolished the settlement for industrial use

  • Crises in the Caucasus

    Crises in the Caucasus

    04/03/2021 Duração: 29min

    In the South Caucasus, Georgia and Armenia are facing challenging times as political crises in each country have intensified in the past week. In Georgia, the arrest of the opposition leader brought thousands onto the streets in protest. And in neighbouring Armenia, the country’s embattled prime minister accused the army’s generals of an attempting a military coup. Rayhan Demytrie explains the challenges of reporting on both events at the same time. In Peru, a scandal over vaccine distribution has shocked the nation. A local newspaper published a list of the names of hundreds of people who had secretly been inoculated well ahead of the vaccination roll-out: including the former President and several government ministers. Dan Collyns reports on "Vacunagate." In the United States, we follow the story of one woman who chose to forego her long-term job as a teacher in favour of a less predictable, nomadic way of life in her campervan. She is part of a growing community of so-called “van-lifers” in North Ameri

  • The New York Moment

    The New York Moment

    27/02/2021 Duração: 29min

    New York was hit hard in the pandemic, and more than 29 000 died since the first outbreak there. Residents and workers saw a changed landscape – gone were the tourist throngs, and bustling streets – social distancing signs thinned out the crowds and demarcated the streets. Now the city is re-opening and the soul-searching has begun. But Nick Bryant takes solace that the city will still find its way back to recovery. This week, nurses across Kenya went back to work after a three month strike. Doctors who had also walked off the job in December returned last month. There is widespread relief because many feared industrial action in the middle of a pandemic could cost even more lives…So far Kenya is relatively unscathed by Covid-19. But, as Lucy Ash reports, the death of one young doctor from the virus has stirred outrage and exposed some of the failings in the country’s health system. In Belarus, a journalist is on trial for investigating the death of a protester in another example of the crackdown on indepen

  • Afghanistan at a crossroads

    Afghanistan at a crossroads

    25/02/2021 Duração: 28min

    Afghanistan has seen a surge in civilian casualties since US-brokered peace talks with the Taliban resumed last year. Ashraf Ghani, the Afghan President, however, still sees reason for optimism, thanks to the new-US administration with whom he hopes to have better relations. Lyse Doucet reflects on Kabul's battle to shake off a violent past. Businesses across Myanmar were closed on Monday as protestors in several cities held a General Strike in protest against the military coup and arrest of their civilian leader, Aung San Suu Kyi. Initial hopes for a peaceful resolution are now fading after troops fired live ammunition and tear gas into crowds in recent weeks. But a heavy-handed response is only sharpening the resolve of those on the streets, finds Ben Dunant. In 2014, a small farming village of Kocho in northern Iraq, was the scene of one of the worst massacres carried out by the Islamic State group, killing hundreds of people from the Yazidi ethno-religious minority. This month, 103 of the victims were ret

  • Zuma’s Moment of Reckoning

    Zuma’s Moment of Reckoning

    20/02/2021 Duração: 28min

    South Africa’s former President, Jacob Zuma failed to appear at a corruption inquiry this week - an inquiry he himself set up when he was in power. But now he has been called to testify, he has accused the judge of carrying out a personal vendetta against him. The case has split the country’s ruling party, the African National Congress. In the eyes of many the former President will always be seen as the legendary liberation hero. Andrew Harding looks at why it’s proving so difficult to hold certain politicians to account in South Africa. We visit Wuhan in China, where, just over a year ago, a whistleblower - Li Wenliang - first drew the world's attention to the severity of the Coronavirus outbreak. A team of international scientists from the World Health Organisation have just returned from their month long visit to the city to try to identify the origins of the virus. China correspondent, Stephen McDonnell followed the motorcade of scientists on their tour and found information about what they learned was h

  • A tribal gathering in Yemen

    A tribal gathering in Yemen

    18/02/2021 Duração: 28min

    We visit the tribesmen of Yemen, which has for years been wracked by civil war. The conflict morphed into a proxy war in 2015 after a coalition, led by Saudi Arabia launched attacks on Iranian-backed Houthi Muslim rebels. And as the conflict has raged on, Yemeni civilians face economic hardship and starvation. Some of the country’s tribespeople have stepped up to play the role of peacemaker to try to restore order. Leila Molana -Allen heard about some of the challenges they face when she was a guest at a tribal gathering in the south of the country. For a president to undergo an impeachment process was until recently a somewhat rareified event, but former president Donald Trump has now undergone not one, but two sets of proceedings against him. The latest one examined his role in the storming of the Capitol building on January 6th. In the end, the Senate voted to acquit Donald Trump – and as Anthony Zurcher found, the era of Trump’s influence is by no means a closed chapter for Republicans. Kosovo has be

  • Israel’s Vaccine Rollout

    Israel’s Vaccine Rollout

    13/02/2021 Duração: 28min

    Israel’s health system has been in the spotlight as it races ahead with its coronavirus vaccination programme. More than half of eligible Israelis - about 3.5 million people - have now been fully or partially vaccinated. For our Middle East correspondent Tom Bateman, covering the pandemic meant a return to his beat after a mishap on the streets of Jerusalem, and a vivid episode of his own in hospital. Next, Ireland, which in recent weeks has been caught in the middle of the row between the UK and the European Union over the Northern Irish protocol. The Irish Taoiseach, Michael Martin, called for both parties to “cool it”. But Ireland’s relationship with Brussels has, to date, been a largely positive one. Chris Paige looks back on Ireland’s evolution since it became a republic into a firmly European nation. Thirty years ago an American air strike destroyed an air raid shelter in Baghdad, killing hundreds. The previous August, Iraqi President Saddam Hussein had invaded and occupied Kuwait, triggering a huge i

  • Egypt’s brief wind of change

    Egypt’s brief wind of change

    11/02/2021 Duração: 28min

    Ten years ago, former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, was ousted after weeks of protest in Tahrir square in Cairo. Demonstrators proved an unstoppable force despite a brutal crackdown by authorities killing hundreds. But the post-Mubarak era has not heralded a period of greater freedoms. Kevin Connolly, who covered the fall of Mubarak, looks back on the protests in 2011 which have now fallen silent. President Emmanuel Macron has chosen not to impose a further lockdown, instead tightening borders, closing shopping malls and imposing a night-time curfew to keep the virus under control. Mr Macron now has one eye on the looming presidential campaign as two polls this week suggested his lead over the far-right’s Marine Le Pen is narrowing. Hugh Schofield reports from Paris. It's Oscar season again – and Pakistan’s entry in the best foreign film category is making the headlines. The plot centres on the fictional story of a devout Muslim and estate agent whose life is turned upside down when he dances sensually

  • The Lady and the General

    The Lady and the General

    06/02/2021 Duração: 28min

    Aung San Suu Kyi was once heralded by many in the west as a valiant campaigner for democratic rights. As civilian leader she looked set to put the country on a new path after years of military dictatorship. But her refusal to acknowledge the army’s ethnic cleansing of Rohingya Muslims damaged her standing abroad. And although her party managed to secure a landslide victory in elections last year, it may prove to have been a pyrrhic one, says Jonathan Head, after the military coup this week. Mexican’s President, Manuel Lopez Obrador, may have had a lucky escape from the worst effects of Covid-19, but the same cannot be said for a vast numbers of his compatriots who are battling to find treatment. The president has now recovered, says Will Grant, but his citizens are still struggling for breath. In a court in Moscow this week, Russia’s opposition leader described President Vladimir Putin as “a poisoner” before he was sentenced to nearly three years in prison. Alexei Navalny’s arrest and sentencing has had an

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